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U.S. Restaurants Expand Sustainability Efforts
Apr 23, 2013
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The National Restaurant Association said restaurants, from large chains to small independent establishments, are investing in conservation efforts such as energy and water efficiency and waste reduction.

The association is leading efforts to tackle challenging sustainability issues, including working to recognize leaders in equipment efficiency.

Restaurant operators have various reasons for their efforts: to address customer preferences, to save operating costs from reduced energy use, and simply because the moves are good for the environment.

"Most foodservice companies are putting sustainability as one of their key tenets," said Linda Dunn, vice president of supply chain for HMSHost, a Bethesda, MD company with foodservice operations at 100 airports around the world. "Even in the down economy, it's held its ground because the next generation has been brought up to think of the world as an ecosystem. Businesses have had to adjust to that because it not only affects their workers, but also their customers and even stockholders in some cases."

The association is partnering with restaurateurs on sustainability initiatives through its Conserve Sustainability Education Program. The program includes promoting industry-tested best practices and educational videos from industry experts, and helps restaurateurs design a personalized action plan.

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